Warburtons’ closures hits company profits

Warburtons has seen a 37% decline in profits to £16.3m in 2011, which the firm has attributed to the restructuring of its bakery operations.

The Bolton-based bread manufacturer reported a £495m turnover for the 12-month period ending 24 September 2011, compared to £492m in 2010.

Its Pennine bakery in Shaw, which closed in January and axed 73 jobs, is expected to cost the firm more than £2.8m in redundancy payments. 
Warburtons also terminated production at its Newport site last year.

Jonathan Warburton, chairman and chief executive of Warburtons, said: “By focusing on meeting consumer needs and providing the best-quality products and services, we have been able to maintain differentiation in an increasingly competitive landscape.”

Warburton added that the business was committed to growing its share of the UK market by focusing on a number of key areas for the future, including exports, snacks and free-from.

Net assets accumulated to £471.5m for the year, up from £436.6m in 2010, which the business said was the result of lowering debts and paying back £20m from long-term borrowings, which fell below £100m.

Warburtons said its 2012 financial results were "in line with expectations" and the Board views the outcome as "satisfactory in an increasingly challenging economic environment".

In other news, the firm has just announced a new deal with Tesco. It will be supply seven lines from its range of gluten- and wheat-free bakery goods to the retailer’s stores nationwide.

The products, which hit the shelves in the UK and Ireland this week, include its 400g white loaf, two-pack of lemon and poppy seed muffins, and three-pack of white rolls. Three lines have also been launched in Tesco Express stores.

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